Holding the pick

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by fish78, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. fish78

    fish78 Member

    Messages:
    2,026
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    I have seen a couple of different ways illustrated...tell me what the consensus says is the best way to grip a pick...
     
  2. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

    Messages:
    10,955
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I hold it between my thumb and the side of my forefinger, with the point of the pick sticking out so it's more or less perpendicular to the strings. I used to play a lot of 80's metal, so it was important to be able to easily play pinch harmonics. That pick technique allows me to easily brush my thumb across the string after the pick, creating the harmonic.
     
  3. jrkoosh

    jrkoosh Supporting Member

    Messages:
    666
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    do you curl your fingers in, or let you fingers out like the Crips sign:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

    Messages:
    10,955
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I learned how to play on strats, so got used to curling my fingers in to avoid hitting the volume knob and turning the guitar down.
     
  5. jpastras

    jpastras Supporting Member

    Messages:
    846
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Location:
    Decatur, GA
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,715
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    it's cool that there is no right way and it contributes to the unique tones we all get, unlike most other instruments.
     
  7. townsend

    townsend Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Montrose, CO
    I didn't think much about it until I watched a video posted by a forum member, but I hold or grip the pick differently.

    The most common way to hold the pick is between the pad of the thumb and the side of the last joint of the index finger (so Bill LaFleur, Ultimate Guitar Technique: The Complete Guide [Musicians Institute], 111).

    I didn't know any better,:confused: but I grip my pick between the pad of the thumb and the pad of my index finger. Thus my index finger is pointing toward the tip of the pick. I pinch the pick between the thumb pad and finger pad, in the same way I would hold a coin after picking it up off the ground. The index finger traditionally functions in pointing, so gripping the pick in this manner feels natural, at least to me. Doesn't anybody else do this?
     
  8. jpastras

    jpastras Supporting Member

    Messages:
    846
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Location:
    Decatur, GA
    I alternate between that approach and the traditional method you describe.
     
  9. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

    Messages:
    4,211
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    Mel Bay, lesson one. :) Works for me!

    I have noticed that most rock players I jam with use stiffer plectrums. I just got used to the med-thin Jim Dunlop grey nylon ones because they last longer. If you play surf guitar you'll understand.
     
  10. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Member

    Messages:
    6,909
    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Location:
    Hogtown,KY.
    Everyone tells me i hold it wrong. Oh,well.
     
  11. Strung Up

    Strung Up Member

    Messages:
    1,600
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    Crazy, mixed-up world
    OutSTANDING guidance!


     
  12. shane8

    shane8 Member

    Messages:
    29,772
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Location:
    :}
    any way u like is fine :)
     
  13. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    13,455
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    I think a lot of people do, even some great players.
    Personally (having taught myself) I hold it between thumb and tips of index and middle - mainly middle, with support from the index (braced against the edge of the pick).

    I have tried what I call the "jazz grip" (between thumb and side of curled index) and - even tho it feels clumsy at first - I can tell that with practice it might be a very smooth way to play fast single-note lines. (The hand movement is very economical.)
    But (a) I'm too lazy to practice a new way, and (b) strumming with the jazz grip feels awkward (knuckles dangerously close to strings), and (c) I like the more variable control of pick angle and pressure I feel I have with my grip.
    (BTW, I often palm the pick and play fingerstyle, with nails, anyway... :rolleyes: )

    Here's some interesting reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_pick#Technique
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice